Arlington, VA (PRWEB) May 30, 2013
Many Americans looking for a healthier way of living are considering the Mediterranean diet. Following the Mediterranean diet has shown to decrease risk of heart disease, cancer, and brain disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, “following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of overall and cardiovascular mortality, a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.”
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet is more than just a nutrition plan, it is a lifestyle. It focuses on getting sufficient levels of physical activity levels as well as eating healthy foods. The following are four key components of the Mediterranean diet:
It is well known that exercise optimizes health. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways of improving both physical and mental health. Many studies support the use of regular exercise to relieve stress, prevent cancers, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Plant-based diet: Eat more whole fruits and vegetables
By having a plant-based diet we mean using whole fruits and vegetables as the foundation for each meal. Many people use meats as the foundation for each meal which drastically diminishes their intake of whole fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet will ensure sufficient fruit and vegetable consumption. According to WebMd, “People who eat the most fruits and vegetables have a 20% reduced risk of heart disease and a 27% reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, especially stroke.” For a few simple vegetable recipe ideas, such as Sesame Garlic Greens, click here.
Cook with olive oil
Using healthy cooking oils such as extra-virgin olive oil is a key feature of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil can be used in place of other ingredients such as butter, which contain large amounts of saturated fat. Olive oil is high in mono-unsaturated fat and is also full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. Mono-unsaturated fat may help decrease levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and promote heart health.
Eat fish twice a week
A recent Harvard study recommended eating certain types of fish up to two times each week. According to the study, “fish consumption lowers the risk of death from heart disease by 36 percent.” Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines may help increase serotonin levels and reduce the risk of depression due to its high Omega 3 fatty acid content. Omega 3 fatty acids are also linked with improving heart health and helping regulate inflammation levels in the body. (http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/07/11/pl.fish/) Simple fish recipes.
With the many preventable healthy maladies plaguing Americans, the Mediterranean diet has proven itself as a healthy choice for minimizing the risks of certain cancers, heart disease, and the development of certain brain abnormalities.
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